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Two of the UK’s Leading Academic TV Stars Meet at University of Warwick Event

Two of the UK’s leading academics will join forces on 19th May in a live event to discuss the boundaries of arts and science.

Professor Brian Cox, Physicist from the University of Manchester and Dr Michael Scott, Classicist from the University of Warwick will take part in a live debate and discussion at Warwick Arts Centre on Tuesday 19 May in front of an audience of over 1,350 people.

As part of the celebrations for the University of Warwick’s 50th anniversary, this event will bring the two well-known academics together as they discuss their research, the future of arts and science collaboration, how the impact agenda is affecting interdisciplinarity and whether the traditional boundaries of arts and science are becoming obsolete.

Dr Michael Scott said:

“Interdisciplinarity exists to support new emerging fields of investigation and open up traditional areas of study to fresh inquiry. It is simultaneously challenging and exhilarating, uncertain and mind-expanding. As such it is - rightly - fast becoming an ever more important part of the intellectual landscape in both the arts and sciences.

“The key challenges are to understand how we can and should prepare people to get the most out of interdisciplinary study; facilitate that interaction on an on-going basis; and fully harness its potential to not only bring about fresh solutions to old problems and insights into new ones, but also, just as crucially, broaden and deepen the dialogue between academic and public imaginations."

Professor Brian Cox said:

“The arts and the sciences share a common origin; human curiosity. They are reactions to the world. Modern science can sometimes appear dominant, or domineering depending on your point of view, particularly on questions concerning the origin and fate of the universe and our place within it. It is certainly true that science provides a framework within which sensible discussions of such questions must take place. Theology and philosophy cannot sit outside of science, at least when they concern themselves with things we have measured! But equally, science has little if anything to say about the meaning of the discoveries we have made. How should we reflect on and respond to the physical insignificance of our planet? What are we to make of the fact that the life of our civilisation mirrors that of a single human being; necessarily finite and ultimately, perhaps, meaningless? We live in a possibly infinite Universe, which may have existed forever, without creation or end, and we will be an infinitesimally tiny part of it for the blink of an eye. What are we to make of that? I don’t know, but I can tell you for certain that the answers can’t be found using mathematics and telescopes.”

In celebration of the University of Warwick’s 50th anniversary, Warwick Arts Centre is hosting a number of ‘imagining the future’ talks as part of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Nigel Thrift’s Distinguished Lecture Series, bringing to campus high profile speakers from the worlds of academia, business, the arts and civil society to share their thoughts and ideas.

This lecture has now sold out but there are press passes available.

More information on the Distinguished Lecture series and forthcoming events can be found here:

Notes to Editors

For more information, to attend the event or to request an interview please contact Alison Rowan, Communications Manager on; on 024 76 150423 or on 07876 218166.

Dr Michael Scott

Michael will be shortly be appearing on BBC 1 alongside Alexander Armstrong for a documentary on Invisible Rome – due to be screened in early June 2015. He is currently working on a book about a more global approach to teaching history to be published by Hutchinson/Windmill in 2016.

Before coming to Warwick, Michael completed his training at Cambridge, where he was also the Moses and Mary Finley Research Fellow in ancient history at Darwin College, as well as an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics. He has taught widely in the UK and Greece, and his research is focused on using inter-disciplinary approaches to the literary, epigraphic and material evidence to investigate ancient Greek and Roman society. Michael also believes passionately in making the ancient world as accessible as possible to a wider audience. He regularly talks in schools around the country, writes books intended for the popular market as well as articles for national and international newspapers and magazines, takes part in radio programmes, and has written and presented several TV series about the ancient world for History Channel, National Geographic, BBC and ITV. To see these programmes, and find out more, visit: www.michaelscottweb.com or follow Michael on twitter @drmichaelcscott

In January 2015, Michael was awarded the University of Warwick Staff Award for Outstanding Community Contribution.

Professor Brian Cox

Brian has received numerous awards for his work in publicizing science. Already an International Fellow of the Explorers Club, in 2006 he received the British Association Lord Kelvin award for his work in promoting science to the public and, in 2012, the prestigious Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize and the Institute of Physics Presidents Medal. Brian has authored several books and hosted numerous TV and radio programs in the UK and the US influencing young people around the globe. For more visit: and follow Brian on Twitter @ProfBrianCox


Dr Michael Scott, University of Warwick

Dr Michael Scott, Department of Classics & Ancient History, University of Warwick

Professor Brian Cox

Professor Brian Cox, Physicist, University of Manchester

Photography of Prof Cox (c) 2005
Vincent Connare